The introduction of a new airline fee program is reigniting an old debate about the true cost of air travel.
Earlier this month, United Airlines unveiled “subscriptions” that let you prepay for a year’s worth of baggage fees, seat upgrades or airport club access. The plans start at $349, for which you and up to eight companions traveling on the same reservation may check up to two bags per flight, and cost up to $500 or more for annual access to United’s 45 airport club locations and other select partner lounges worldwide.
“Our customers tell us that they value comfort and convenience, and our subscriptions enable us to provide both year-round,” said United spokeswoman Karen May. “We intend for these subscriptions to be long-term offers.”